Thursday, March 26, 2009

Computers Are Wonderful When They Work

A horrible thing happened to me last week. My computer died.

Without a gurgle or a burp, it suddenly decided to go on strike. At first I thought it was some momentary glitch that would soon right itself, but after repeatedly trying to open every program, I knew I was in trouble.

Staring at the lit screen with all my icons still visible, I sat there trying to decide what to do. Turn it off and see if it will come back on, I thought. So I did, and it rebooted with everything still in place. But nothing would work.

For some this might not be a problem, but for a writer who spends long hours every day at her computer, this was devastating. I suddenly felt cut off from the rest of the world. In reality I wasn’t because I still had a telephone and a cell phone, not to mention the fact that the mailman still stops at my house every day. But to be without a computer was a horrible thing to happen at just that moment.

I had worked all day on a proposal that I meant to get off to my editor the next morning. Now I couldn’t get to it. It was frozen inside my computer.

After taking a lot of deep breaths and praying for a solution, I called my son to bring me his laptop. With it in hand I was ready to redo my proposal. Thank goodness I had the first three chapters stored in an online email account, but I wasn’t so lucky with the synopsis. I had printed it out, so I had to retype the hard copy. Do you know how long it takes to type a six-page-single-spaced document? A lo-o-o-ng time.

My computer came back from the repairman today. There was nothing major wrong, he said, but I’m sure it’s time to get a new one. At least that’s what I’ve told my husband, and I’m sticking to that story.

I must say, though, that I learned an important lesson. My computer may have a lot more brain power than I do, but I’m not going to let a machine get the best of me in the future. From now on I’m going to do what I neglected to do some days. I’m going to back up everything!!!

From sunny Tennessee where the daffodils are blooming and the grass is getting green, I’m praying you have a great day.

Sandra Robbins


Mystery and Mayhem said...

Sandra, losing a computer is like losing the microwave or washer, isn't it? Only worse, as you can't talk to friends through your washer.
I had to put mine in the shop the other day, and felt as though my right arm had been cut off.
When did we get so dependant on them? Should we be thinking of weaning ourselves off! Gasp!!

Stephanie Newton said...

It's definitely a love-hate relationship with me, too. I try to email my working file to myself every day, but it's hard to remember to do it.


Jphillips1107 said...

Ladies you really need to invest in a jump drive or well several jump drives. It can be devastating to loose everything. Not long ago my cousin's laptop completely crashed and she had some kinda virus in the hard drive. Thank Goodness it was still under warranty. Anyway though she brought it down and my husband was working on it doing exactly what the tech told. The tech told him to hook it up to our monitor. Anyway somewhere in the craziness when he did that it wiped out my comp as well. He had to manually reinstall windows so the comp would work again. Since that day everything important has either been uploaded to an online source or has been saved to a jump drive.

Sandra Robbins said...

You are so right about the jump drive. The sad thing is that I have one but neglected to save what I should. I've learned my lesson, though. You know how you think things like that will never happen to you? It can and will definitely do it when you least expect it.

Thanks for the comments Barbara, Stephanie, and Jessie.

Stephanie Newton said...

I have an external hard drive. When my old laptop (which wasn't very old) died, the guy at the computer store was able to remove my hard drive and put it in a case, so I have everything that was on that computer and can use that for external backup. It's not the sturdiest ever and it's a pain to use, so for everyday stuff, I email it to myself. :)